State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, joined Gov.
Tom Wolf, state legislators and advocates at a ceremony and press conference for the signing of the medical marijuana bill into law.
Davidson said the new law will improve the quality of life for patients and their families by helping them to avoid relieving their pain by narcotics and becoming addicted to drugs such as heroin.
Under the new law, medical marijuana will be available to patients who are under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition. Patients with serious medical conditions will be able to access medical marijuana with a physician’s certification at designated state dispensaries.
The bill includes language drafted by Davidson that would include sickle cell anemia as a qualified medical condition to use medical marijuana.
“People suffering from sickle cell are usually prescribed opiates to fight the pain of the disease,” Davidson said.
“Medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate chronic pain and help reduce reliance on opiates.”
The bill also includes Davidson’s language that ensures employment and business opportunities for minority, women and veterans businesses in the new medical cannabis industry in Pennsylvania.
“If we are going to create a new industry in Pennsylvania to support growth and distribution of medical marijuana, I want to ensure that every business has an opportunity to benefit,” Davidson said.
The Department of Health anticipates it taking about 18 months to have the new medical marijuana industry fully operational.